We hope your stay in Germany was a successful experience and the years you spent here will remain an afterglow, not only in view of your academic career. Now, that you are planning on leaving Germany for good, there are some important things to do. The following checklist is designed to make your expat transition easier:
1) Deregister at Residents' Registration Office
You had to register at the Residents’ Registration Office (Einwohnermeldeamt) when you arrived in Düsseldorf. Therefore, to avoid any confusion on the side of German authorities you also have to deregister at the Residents’ Registration Office before you leave the country .
2) Cancel your rental contract
Normally you are required to give at least a 3 months notice to the landlord of your house or apartment in case you want to cancel the contract. The exact regulation depends on your specific contract, therefore please check your contract details well in advance. Otherwise you could end up paying rent even after you have left Germany. Make sure that you are getting back the deposit you payed when moving in. In some cases the landlord can keep part of it until the end of the running year and the final account is made.
Should you own the house or condo, you need to make arrangements for its sale or renting it out.
3) Cancel your services and utilities
Please inform your gas, water, electricity, cable provider far ahead of your move for termination services and final meter readings. In some cases, a lead time of 90 days is needed. Don't forget to cancel your newspaper, magazines or DVD subscriptions.
4) Sell them, give them away or ship them
You have to make decisions about all stuff that you’ve accumulated during your time in Germany. There might be heavy furniture, electrical appliances, etc. You have to decide whether you will take them with you or leave them behind. In case you definitely want to take some things with you, ask for cost estimates from shipping companies (http://www.unigrouprelocation.com/). Be sure to do some research before making your decision, since prices can vary a lot!
If you want to sell some things, make a list of everything you want to sell, and put it up on bulletin boards (at work/university/library/super markets) and other online forums (Ebay).
Set up an appointment with the waste management company AWISTA for the pick-up of your bulky waste (heavy furniture).
If you are leaving Germany for good, you should close your bank account. Send an informal letter to your bank, including your name and address and details of your new bank account in order to transfer the remaining balance. Make sure that there are no outstanding direct debits or standing orders.
6) Post redirection
It's important to make sure that you continue to receive your mail and won't miss important documents and don't become a victim of an identify fraud when you move away. Therefore, you can use the "Nachsendeservice" of the Deutsche Post to redirect your mail to your new home.
7) School matters
If you have children in school or kindergarden, you are required to give advance notice of your leaving time in order to avoid some extra charges.